Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award

Call for Nominations

Jointly sponsored by the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and Motorola Solutions since 1998, the Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award recognizes exemplary leaders in public safety for their work to improve the delivery of the fire and emergency services in the areas of prevention, mitigation and response.

Mason Lankford
Mason Lankford

The award is named in honor of the late-Mason Lankford, a distinguished fire service leader from the state of Texas. Mason committed his time, energy and passion to the fire and emergency services within his home state and throughout the country. His primary mission was to make the profession safer for all who serve. In 1987, when newly elected Congressman Curt Weldon (PA) first proposed the idea of establishing the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, Mason stepped forward to offer his support. He was credited with convincing House Speaker Jim Wright to embrace the idea of a Fire Caucus, which lead to its successful launch. Since then, the Fire Caucus has remained the most active and influential caucus in Congress.


Purpose of the Award

The Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award embraces the importance of advocacy and leadership on behalf of all firefighters and emergency services personnel. These key attributes epitomize Mason’s legacy as a fire service leader.

He cared for all first responders and dedicated his career to building a stronger fire service without leaving anyone behind. The Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award recognizes individuals – like Mason Lankford – who embrace the same goals, dedication and commitment to make the fire service a stronger and safer profession for all.

Award Goals

Each year, individuals from the fire and emergency services community can be nominated for the CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award.

Nominees must have made an exemplary impact at the national level through one of the following:

  • Leadership in promoting and supporting fire/emergency service and life safety issues.
  • Advancing the readiness of the Fire/EMS services at any level of government (local, county, state, federal).
  • Strengthening fire safety through the development of fire prevention programs.
  • Acting as a catalyst to improve the fire and emergency services.

Award Eligibility

  • A candidate can be employed by a state or local government agency, private organization, be self-employed, or serve in a voluntary capacity.
  • Current federal government employees are not eligible; retired federal government employees are eligible. Individuals contracting with the federal government, whether on their own or through an employer, are eligible (e.g., instructors, consultant and service providers).
  • The application must demonstrate how the actions or achievements of the candidate have made a positive impact at the national level in advancing the readiness of the fire and emergency services. An application submitted on behalf of a candidate who made his/her contributions at the local or state level will be considered if it can demonstrate how the achievements and actions had a profound, positive impact at the national level. (For example: research and/or programs at the local/state level that have been widely accepted and adopted as “best practice” across the nation).
  • A candidate must have a fire service or EMS background or have served a significant role in the fire and life safety community.

Nomination Process

  • A candidate for the Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award cannot nominate him/herself. An application must be submitted by an individual who possesses a strong understanding of the candidate’s contributions to the fire and emergency services.
  • Nomination letters should not exceed more than 1,000 words. Accompanying materials, such as letters of support, can be included in the application; however, the selection committee will place special emphasis on the nomination letter which should convey how the candidate’s contributions have addressed any of the four goals described above.
  • The selection of the recipient will be made by the CFSI Board of Directors.
  • Please include your contact information in the nomination letter, including a phone number and email address. CFSI will notify the individuals submitting the nominations of the final selection.
  • The applications can be sent either electronically or by mail. The mailing address is CFSI, 1530 Wilson Blvd, Suite 520, Arlington, VA 22209; the email address is [email protected]

Deadline for submitting nominations: Closed

Award Presentation

The recipient of the CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award will be honored at the 32nd Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner held on April 30, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
The winner will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the dinner. This includes airfare and hotel accommodations for the recipient for two nights at the Washington Hilton.